Born in Greenwood, Mississippi, Robinson left his home at the age of 18 to move to Memphis, Tennessee where he recorded his first single "Tennessee Woman" in 1957. He settled in Chicago in 1962. He recorded his signature song, "Somebody Loan Me a Dime", in 1967 on the Palos label, the nationwide distribution of which was aborted by a freak snow storm hitting the Windy City. Covered by Boz Scaggs (with a searing lead guitar by then session musician Duane Allman) in 1969, the song was misattributed, resulting in legal battles. It has since become a blues standard, being "part of the repertoire of one out of every two blues artists", according to 1997's Encyclopedia of Blues.